A childhood game I once played was upon my thoughts. A blindfold had been put upon my eyes and I was spun in circles until dizziness came. At that point I was released with instructions I was to pin the tail in my hand to a target hung on the wall. In the background I could hear laughter and jesting for how far off the mark I was. When the dizziness from being spun passed and the blindfold removed, I could clearly see how easy it would be to reach the target.
A childhood game teaches me my need not to be blindfolded. It teaches me I am not to be spun until so dizzy I can’t walk in a straight direction. I am meant to reach my target.
My character development is slow enough I wonder on a daily basis, am I different from who I was yesterday? My mind is drawn to remember how foundations are actually made upon the earth. Sediment is formed one layer at a time, until eventually there is not only a mountain of soil but some of that soil becomes rock solid. Becoming rock solid in who I am is going to take a heart willing to be taught over time. I want to be successful in learning; I will need to lean on patience to learn.
Isa 28:10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little.
I have been given a job of utmost importance. My instructions are quite clear. I am to mind my heart, that as I perform each assignment, it not be done through selfish ambition or conceit. I am not to be in rivalry with my fellow workers, but count them more significant than myself. This is completely counter-culture for how promotions work. It’s my understanding in this job, I must go lower to get higher.
I am to assist all who have need, and do so without boasting, as though I had done something beyond the expectations of my job. I am to work with a hopeful attitude even if I’m having a bad day, preventing a negative environment. I am to always wear a badge, not with my name, instead the name of my Employer as His representative in the workplace. (He is the Boss, but He’s also my best friend and helps me with every task.)
The payment guarantee is peaceful no matter how chaotic the economy. My retirement package has been completely insured to include an eternal place and time of rest. In the fine print there is a promise of a mansion and treasures beyond my ability to see or imagine. I am free to invite anyone to join me in this employment opportunity.
Turning in slow circles I let the dance move upon my heart. Nothing mattered except to worship in this moment. I let His words flow from my mouth, “Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name. I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, and I will glorify Your name forevermore. For great is Your mercy toward me, and You have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.”
A rhythm moved my bare feet in this most private of moments. The voices of condemnation lessened in the presence of the voice of truth. Lifting my arms, I celebrated the goodness and mercy of the God of all the universe.
I have seen flowers that begin life looking more like weeds than anything that would produce incredible beauty. If you didn’t know better, you’d pull them from the soil to throw them away. I see the same thing in people. They can seem rough, ill mannered, loaded with problems and behaviors. When alone and quietly praying I begin to ask the right questions. “Father, who do You know them to be?”
A flood of hope comes upon me and I swim in His river of truth. I begin to hear the words I am to speak in prayer, “this daughter will write songs about My love, that son will speak with wisdom and win men to My truth, that child will draw with My creativity, this mother will raise beautiful children who honor Me, that father will teach healing”, and it goes on.
Paul wrote many of the epistles of the New Testament but even he didn’t start out fully accepted for who he was meant to be. It was said of him, “he tried to join the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, and did not believe that he was a disciple.” At times I have wondered if some I’ve met are real disciples or imposters. When I put this confession before my Father, He is gentle to correct my thinking. He shares with me how much He loves His children and if I will agree with Him in prayer, I can speak into being what He already knows is possible.
Verse from Acts 9:26 NKJV
Our hands were made by the Maker of the universe. Our hearts are filled with His Spirit because He chose us for this moment in time. We hold our hands before Him and ask, “What has been put in our hearts, what are we to do with these hands?” The answer comes in a single word, “equipping”.
Equipping – (katartismos Greek, Strong’s #2677) A making fit, preparing, training, perfecting, making fully qualified for service.
With every word we speak we can equip, with every action of our hands we can equip by example. The greatest gift to offer in any of this is that of love. Without love all equipping becomes ineffective and insubstantial. Daily we must stand before our Father and ask Him to equip us with the kind of love it will take to make a difference.
And when I dreamed I began to think all things were possible…
I held onto my treasure map, its value incalculable. Without warning I felt a tug upon this directional paper, as though unseen hands were trying to pry it from my own. Looking around me, I could not visually see with my eyes where this pull was coming from. Focusing upon the map, I tightened my grip and sang a song of worship about its beauty. Another tug came to tear away pieces, making my treasure map incomplete. Nothing could I do but sing and wait. Soon I heard other voices join mine. Looking once more upon my treasure map I noticed the pieces which had been torn away were now restored as I stood side by side with those who would also sing.
In an instant I desire to be different. Instantly healed of every wound, instantly delivered from every dark memory. Instantly relieved of any pressure, instantly removed from any discomfort. Instantly gratified.
God in His wisdom speaks to me, ..we also glory in the tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Also He speaks, an inheritance gained hastily at the beginning will not be blessed at the end.*
*Rom 5:3-5, Pro 20:21
Ever have a friend who only feels safe when privately telling you they really do believe in the bible? Ever have that same friend tell you what they believe the bible is speaking? Put them in a group setting at work or social gatherings and they look to blend in with everyone else. Nothing about them would appear different from anyone around them. This is nothing new at all. Jesus never taught in secret, yet he had disciples who believed in Him, but only secretly. They were so fearful of what others would think of them, they’d never openly say, “this Man speaks truth”. All of these people went to church. (CEV John 19:38b …was one of Jesus’ disciples. He had kept it secret though, because he was afraid of the Jewish leadership.)
A disciple is one who believes the Word as truth. Truth will never be anything more or less. To follow truth will take courage. From Mark 10:32b “…and Jesus was going before them; and they were amazed. And as they followed they were afraid.”
I am one of those who are afraid. My courage melts in the reality of understanding who God is. Daily I ask for His courage to continue to follow Him knowing how afraid I am. Yes, I too have fear of what others think of my belief in truth. What are my options? Will I be a secret disciple, secure in my position among my peers, or will I openly declare what I know as truth?